Maui News

29,000 Hawaiʻi Residents are Eligible for Low-Premium HealthCare.gov Plans

April 14, 2021, 8:34 AM HST
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An estimated 29,000 Hawaiʻi Residents are eligible for low-premium plans through HealthCare.gov due to the American Rescue Plan signed by President Biden on March 11, according to an announcement by US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra. About 17,000 current enrollees and 12,000 uninsured adults can sign up for the health coverage with low monthly premiums.

“We’re delivering lower health care costs to more Hawaiʻi Residents because everyone deserves access to quality, affordable health care. Today, help is here – and people who are eligible for tax credits can start saving money on their health insurance premiums thanks to the American Rescue Plan,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “We have already seen more than half a million Americans nationwide gain quality affordable health care coverage through President Biden’s Special Enrollment Period. We are encouraging uninsured Hawaiʻi Residents and current Marketplace enrollees to visit HealthCare.gov to see if they qualify for enhanced financial assistance to purchase quality, affordable health coverage.”

The American Rescue Plan increased tax credits available to millions of consumers, reducing premiums and giving consumers access to affordable, quality health care coverage, according to the announcement.

The department reports that an average of 4 out of 5 current HealthCare.gov consumers will be able to find a plan for $10 or less per month after advance payments of premium tax credits. President Biden opened access to an SEP on HealthCare.gov through August 15 due to the continuing COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, allowing consumers to sign up for a health insurance plan outside of the yearly Open Enrollment Period. More than 500,000 Americans have already signed up for health coverage on HealthCare.gov under the SEP.

Nearly 15 million Americans who currently lack health insurance and many current enrollees are eligible to receive additional financial support in obtaining Marketplace coverage as part of the American Rescue Plan. Recent reports show gains in enrollment among historically uninsured communities, including Black consumers and individuals near the poverty level. Of applicants who identified a race, 17 percent identified as Black – compared to about 11 percent in both 2020 and 2019 during the same time period. Among consumers requesting financial assistance, 41 percent report being at or slightly above the federal poverty level, compared to 38 percent in 2020 and 33 percent in 2019.

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Consumers who want to enroll in coverage and see if they qualify for more affordable premiums can visit HealthCare.gov or CuidadoDeSalud.gov to view 2021 plans and prices and, if eligible, enroll in a plan that best meets their needs. Additionally, consumers can call the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596, which provides assistance in over 150 languages. TTY users can call 1-855-889-4325. Eligible consumers can apply through HealthCare.gov through August 15, 2021, to gain access to the Special Enrollment Period to change or update their plan choices.

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